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Old 01-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
1st Leg of the Journey
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What to do?
My hubby gave me a nice gift certificate to the only LYS in this area for Christmas. Thing is, the economy around here is not good. Small stores and even major chains are closing. This is making me wonder how long the LYS will be around. So, now I have to decide how to spend the money and have no projects in mind. How do I decide how much yarn to buy with nothing specific to make? I had thought it would be fun to go in and use it gradually, but maybe that's not the best idea. I was thinking a nice classic sweater or?
At a loss.............
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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I think one thing to consider would be how long the store has been in business. But even that isn't a guarantee anymore...

If you're on Ravelry, there are a lot of free patterns there (you have to sign up for an account if you don't have one).

You can also take a look at

And there are hundreds of free patterns at Knitting Central:

You might want to narrow it down to a few patterns you like, and then think about yarn weight, fiber content, etc.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
If at first you don't it and try again!

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Old 01-07-2009, 10:58 PM   #3
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What do you like to knit? I'm a sock freak and I like making things using lighter weight yarns. So I would look at fingering weight, dk etc.
If you like making scarves, sweaters whatever it is, then maybe buying enough of the same kind of yarn to do a project.
I had the great fortune to be able to pick up hundreds of dollars of quality yarns for free many years ago. I tried to get enough skeins of one kind of yarn for a sweater. If there wasn't enough of one dye lot I tried to get complementary colors of the same yarn. I've made many sweaters from this stash over the years. Some gloves, socks, tee shirts, afghans.
Think about what you want to make and try and plan for it.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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My methods are a bit different. I usually just pick up a few skeins of this and that, THEN go look at patterns. I know that when I have the yarn I'll find some good use for it, if not immediately. If I were to have a gift certificate to a lys, I'd probably pick up a few skeins of this and that. Maybe a few more of one. I usually at least to try to envision what this yarn would be good as, as I'm picking it out. So yeah, my methods are a little backwards, I don't know how much that helped, but either way good luck!
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:30 AM   #5
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I read about someone, I can't remember who (maybe Amy Singer, or one of the Mason/Dixon ladies, vickie howell, not sure who) who would only ever buy one skein of a new yarn. Then she'd make several swatches on different needle sizes, maybe different pattern stitches just to get to know the yarn. Then she'd be able to figure out what the yarn wanted to be and buy more at a later date when she had a pattern in mind.

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've been pouring over pattern sites to get an idea how much of a particular weight yarn would be needed for a sweater. I make all sorts of things like socks, sweaters, afghans, baby items, etc and usually see a pattern I love then buy yarn online that'll work. Have very little stash and leftovers. I'm sure others would love to have this problem...........
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
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How often do you go by this store? It is unlikely that it will suddenly close without warning -- you should be able to use your GC gradually the way you intended, and then if it looks like it may be closing (lots of discounted items, % off entire store, etc) then you can worry about spending it faster.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
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Do you need any new needles, books or other notions that you may have put off getting? I personally would probably splurge on some great yarn that I love and wouldn't normally buy.


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Old 01-08-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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My LYS is going to close soon, but we were told ahead of time to use our GC if we had them. I think I would use it if you can.

It is hard when you don't have a project in mind, but go wander around and maybe something will come to you.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #10
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There is a handy little chart that tells you how much yarn you need to make sweaters, vests, hats, etc., in various sizes and various yarns. It's written by Ann Budd and is called something like Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements. Most book and yarn stores carry it for about $7. I carry it with me when I'm shopping for yarn so I have a ballpark idea of how much to buy even if I don't have an exact pattern in mind.
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